>> And now you're not answering questions. You're impeding this investigation.>> There weren't many new answers, but Attorney General, Jeff Sessions' high stakes Senate testimony, raising new questions on whether President Donald Trump fired FBI Chief James Comey to sidetrack the Russia probe.>> And I've tried to give my best and truthful answers.
>> I'm Andy Sullivan, in Washington where Sessions delivered a defiant performance in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee.>> Why don't you tell me?>> Refusing to answer questions about his conversations with President Trump surrounding Comey's firing last month. That's sure to cheer the White House but doing little to bolster his credibility among Democrats, who clashed with Sessions time and again over his refusal to answer their questions.
>> Are you claiming executive privilege here today sir?>> I am not.>> Democrats such as Mark Warner of Virginia and Ron Wyden of Oregon zeroing in on Comey's abrupt firing on May the 9th. The dismissal coming just as Comey was advancing the probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections, and amid angry Twitter messages on the Russia probe from the President.
>> This is troubling because it appears that the President decided to fire Director Comey because he was pursuing the Russia investigation.>> Sessions saying the investigation wasn't a factor in his recommendation to get rid of Comey, instead pointing to Comey's handling of an earlier probe into Hillary Clinton's emails as well as what he described as disarray and low morale at the FBI.
But in one of the most striking moments of the hearing, Sessions said he never talked with Comey about his leadership with the agency before deciding that he should be fired.>> Did you ever have a conversation as a superior of Director Comey with his failure to perform or some of these accusations that he wasn't running the FBI in a good way?
>> I did not.>> Sessions, who recused himself, refused to say whether he had talked to Trump about Russia before Comey's firing, that clearly not holding water with Democrats.>> The American people have had it with stonewalling. We are talking about an attack on our Democratic institutions, and stonewalling of any kind is unacceptable.
>> I am not stonewalling. I am following the historic policies of the Department of Justice.>> Sessions getting back up from Republicans on the panel.>> There's a long history of Attorney Generals standing beside the president saying there are some conversations that are confidential.>> But with the cameras rolling, this approach could lead the public to conclude that the White House is hiding something.
Sessions doing little to put lingering questions to rest as the Russia probe continues to command center stage.